Can you really be confident that you are right and all of the believers in error?
Yes - such is the confidence that comes along with searching for truth using objective evidence.
Many claim they have subjective evidence.
This fact is what points in the direction of having confidence that they are wrong.
If the beliefs just started moments ago: "Wow - did you SEE that???" -then you have a point. Perhaps the belief is correct. -correct course of action is to go and investigate
But that's not what's going on. The beliefs have been in place for thousands of years. And... nothing. Not any objective evidence to back them up. Just people with "subjective evidence."
We've seen this before - many people having subjective evidence with no objective evidence to back them up: -sacrifices are required to bring rain -blood letting is a cure for all ailments -vaccines give your kid autism -"Want to know what's great about this time-share?" "Sure, can you show me something?" "No! ...but it's soooooo amazing!!!"
Can you name one thing where millions of people believed in subjective evidence, and when objective evidence came around... they were right?
If not, and I can name many, many examples of the objective evidence showing the "subjective evidence" to be false... that's what gives "confidence" that I am right and all the believers are in error. That's what confidence means - that's where confidence comes from - where similar situations have happened before, and the same particular outcome occurred. It's not a guarantee - but it's certainly confidence - much higher confidence then we have for other things like "I'm not going to die on my commute into work tomorrow."
Evidently, you and the hardcore skeptics are unimpressed with their stories.
I am impressed with the stories. I'm also impressed with ghost stories. I'm also impressed with alien stories. I'm also impressed with selling-the-brooklyn-bridge stories.
I just don't have any confidence in them. Because that's what experience has taught us for such types of stories.
Is it impossible for God to exist? Is it impossible for ghosts to exist? Is it impossible for aliens to walk amongst us? Is it impossible to buy to the brooklyn bridge for $1?
Not at all. But I'm pretty darn confident that they are all wishful thinking.
I'm not convinced that it's best for us to teach society that cherished beliefs are a myth.
I'm not convinced either. But we've tried this - and it doesn't turn out well. A lot of society seems to think that "subjective evidence" is a great idea to apply to other aspects of their lives: -like gambling -like "multi-level marketing" scams -like believing politicians at their word -like marrying your high-school sweetheart just because "that's what people do" after they've been together for a while
Perhaps it's time to try to aim society away from "subjective evidence." What are you afraid of in teaching people that "cherished beliefs" are, indeed "cherished beliefs" and not facts?
Perhaps some people need to have the entire world "believe something" so that they can, too. But, if so - why destroy the entire world (see gambling, multi-level marketing, believing politicians, etc...) just to appease a handful in a tiny, subsection of their lives? Perhaps there is another way to help these few cope while not handicapping entire societies?
I guess im just puzzled why you alone (with a few others) concluded the way that you did. After all you spent a third of your life in churches. Was there not anyone who impressed you with honesty and good character? I sometimes feel as if skeptics and critics think all of Christianity is simply charlatans and fantasy based dreamers.
My dream is that one day, some day... you will finally move past this false dichotomy you've been trained into holding onto.
Again, for the umpteenth time:
Nobody has a problem with believers who are honest and good people. Nobody has a problem with believers who are not charlatans and fantasy dreamers. Nobody has a problem with the vast majority of believers.
There's only a problem when believers attempt to pass their "belief" as "truth."
That's obviously wrong and needs to be stopped. That is the path of charlatans and fantasy dreamers. That is the path that "subjective evidence" encourages.
...to some people? Because, obviously, there are many (most?) who do not think such a thing is a very important question at all.
I think it's a form of brainwashing/PTSD/just-the-way-they-are or, at least, something along that idea. That is... people have been taught for so long, so strongly or just accept such beliefs so wholeheartedly... that Bible inerrancy is the only way to 'be a good person' or to 'protect their eternal soul' that they have so much personal, individual value placed on it... that they cannot fathom parting from it.
They cannot entertain the idea that it might be wrong. That there may be something else that is equally or even more important. Moving in that direction "is a bad idea" has been trained into them so much that they cannot do it as 'an intellectual exercise' alone. It always includes taking a part of their spirit into a dark area they "know to be evil" and so they recoil from any attempts at all costs - the same way actual PTSD victims are involuntarily and undesirably triggered by seemingly benign (to the rest of us 'normal people') conditions. They can't help it - it's just the way their brain works (for whatever reason) at this point in time.
what if the Bible had errors in it? The readers of the Bible would then have to use their own judgment about what to believe and how to act.
A reasonable and logical pathway to identifying reality vs. belief. My point is that those who do hold Bible inerrancy so important cannot answer this question honestly and proceed to follow down the path it leads to. The way they work (in one way or another) simply prevents it.
But that is what they do already, isn't it? And different people come to different conclusions about what to believe and how to act.
Many people do things without knowing what they're actually doing. "It's incredible what the human body can get used to." Accurately describes this phenomenon.
Many people never take that plunge into the level of honestly, fully understanding that "different people may think/act in different ways." Therefore, they never have to think about how we can all "get along" since they actually believe everyone should just do things the way they do because "it works." They never understand that it only "works for me and my immediate friends/family."
don't worry, be happy!
It really is so simple. And yet, so difficult for some to actually understand and enjoy the benefits. Tragic, really.
In my view, deciding how to live one's life isn't really "that simple".
Fair enough, and I agree.
I was attempting to say that the concept/description is simple: "Don't worry, be happy!" 4 words. Pretty simple. I agree, though, that the implementation... the "how" to achieve such a thing is not so simple. In fact, for some, it is impossible.
"Inerrancy" (again, this is just my view), leads one down the proverbial primrose path, causing one to ignore that need for reasoning.
At it worst, we find that good people usually do good things, while bad people can do bad things...
To me, this is as-defined. That is, when we do good things... we are good people. Therefore, of course "good people" do good things... it's according to the definition
...but to persuade good people to do bad things requires that lack of reason, whether from religion or some totalitarian ideology.
Yeah. Lack of reason. Possibly due to ignorace or willful dismissal. Or possibly only due to lack of motivation.
I find morality fascinating. So I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, reading about it, and discussing it (mostly here at EvC, even.)
But I've also identified that most people are not so fascinated with morality. In general, most seem to only worry about how they're seen by others... so they understand that others call some people "good people" or "bad people" and their motivation only pushes them far enough to get themselves labelled as a "good person."
They don't generally care why or the root-cause to such labels - just as long as they are not viewed in a negative/awkward manner by their every-day peers.
But... that's only my subjective, anecdotal view. I have no data to support it. Your mileage may vary.